12 women and 18 men short trackers participated in the Hungarian National Championships held last week in Budapest. The tournament’s schedule was adjusted to that of the Winter Olympic Games.
Petra Jászapáti (r) and Shaoang Liu Hungarian National Short Track Champions at 2017
All the athletes of the Hungarian national team stepped on ice except Viktor Knoch, who is preparing for his fourth Olympics, but had to miss this competition due to the injury in his ankle ligaments. The experts’ aim was to set the best preparation plan for the Olympic team.
The tournament had five competition days, however not consecutive ones, but matching right the programme of the Winter Olympics: with same schedule, same amount of breaks, the way it will happen in PyeongChang.
Attila Telegdy Jr., Director of the Speed Skating branch, shared his experiences on the exceptional National Championships with us…
“One of the most difficult tasks of the preparation phase is to model the rhythm of the Olympic competition environment, which cannot be matched to that of any national or international contests. The National Championships of short track speed skating offered an excellent test opportunity. In addition to the athletes, trainers, referees, the technical staff as well as the professional leadership all joined their efforts to make the most of the preparation to set the peak forms for the competition days over the two-week period. The National Championships allowed us to get an insight into the skaters’ strength levels, their current conditions. Furthermore it has also been a perfect opportunity to test the relay variations, for which Bernadett Heidum’s illness and Sára Luca Bácskai’s injury also gave reason. Situations like these might happen at the Olympics as well, it is wise to be prepared to tackle them.
The diagnostic physicians of the national team kept testing the conditions of the athletes before, during and after the races. These data are also available to gain the best possible form. The athletes have experienced that the Wednesday-Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday-Monday timing means a more balanced rhythm, than the usual Friday-Saturday-Sunday, although it is less favourable for those who do not get easily tuned for the competitions. One thing is however, undoubted: there is no possibility to make a mistake at the Olympics. There is no B heat. The circle is narrower, scattering is bigger, and competitions are tougher. This is what we are preparing for.”
Liu Shaoang among the men and Petra Jászapáti among the ladies earned the overall title in this “prolonged” National Championships.
The two final winners completely copied each other’s results: both triumphed in the 500 and 1500m events, while taking the second place in the1000m race, however in the 1500m super final staged on Monday both of them prevailed the field.